Self-Assembled Monolayers: Adsorption and Desorption from Alkanethiols on Gold


Pieter Stroeve Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California--Davis

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There is considerable interest in thin molecular nanofilms made from the self-assembly of species. A current area of research is the assembly of multilayers of alternating surfactants, proteins, and polymers to form macromolecular assemblies with unique functions and properties. Such properties can be directional in conducting electricity and propagating light or transferring mass. An example is the use of different types of surfactants and polymers, in a multilayer stack, to design selective membranes. Another interest is in using biopolymers with surfactants at the solid–water interface for selective barrier coatings for biosensors that may also be compatible with biological species. Yet another possibility is to use the self-assembly of surfactants on the solid–water interface to pattern the deposition of biopolymers on surfactants. Self-assembled thiol monolayers (SAMs) on gold are often used as model solid–water interfaces, because these surfaces have unique properties. This is yet another area that has become a subject of active research. This article will review the formation of SAMs and the adsorption and desorption of molecules on the SAMs to create nanofilms.